Rugby and Cricket players of New Zealand will compete in “Black Clash” Twenty20 match on 25th January 2018 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Winners will be awarded with Lomu-Crowe trophy. This cricket trophy is named after late sports legends Martin Crowe and Jonah Lomu. Proceeds from the match will be used for charity.
Jonah Lomu was New Zealand rugby star, who was famous around the world. He had debuted in 1995 at the age of 19, becoming the youngest ever All Black. He ended his international career with 63 caps and 37 tries in 2002. He died in November 2015 at the age of 40 after a heart attack. Martin Crowe was a former New Zealand Cricket captain and one of the finest Kiwi batsman. Crowe was skipper of famed BlackCaps cricket team that was tipped for success in 1992 Cricket World Cup before being eliminated by Pakistan in Semi Final. Martin Crowe died aged 53 in March 2016 after a long battle with cancer.
Team Rugby will feature main All Blacks rugby players like Kieran Read, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Israel Dagg, Jordie Barrett, Ofisa Tunu’u, Jason Spice, Richie McCaw, Ali Williams, Kaylum Boshier and Kendra Cocksedge. Team Rugby have selected former Australia cricketer David Hussey as international wildcard. Team Rugby will wear the red and black colours of Canterbury. New Zealand rugby team are currently preparing for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. This contest offers a different kind of preparation for All Blacks as it is uphill task to take on seasoned cricket superstars.
All Blacks outside back Israel Dagg said: “It’s huge. Look at the trophy, it’s amazing, it’s beautiful. It symbolises New Zealand and, obviously, you’ve got two great, world renowned athletes in Lomu and Crowe. Those names will live on forever.”
Dagg who had tryst with cricket in 2005 echoed: “I’ll try and get it down as fast as I can. Obviously, with rugby you do a lot more upper body weights. I’ll try and do 130, something like that. I live pretty close to [All Blacks captain Kieran] Reado, so I might knock on his door and go and have a net.”
Team Cricket will include Brendon McCullum, Stephen Fleming, Luke Ronchi, Grant Elliott, Kyle Mills, James Franklin, Hamish Marshall, Nathan Astle, Chris Harris and Liz Perry. Team Cricket will announce the international wildcard next week. Team Cricket will don the blue kit in the competition. Team Cricket comprise of retired cricket players, but proceed from this match will benefit New Zealand Cricket. Experts have termed BlackCaps as favourits for Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
New Zealand’s hero in the 2015 World Cup semifinal and final Grant Elliott stated: “Absolutely. Everything to lose, nothing to gain but our pride. I think pride is the important thing. I’ve always seen games like this start off with a bit of a smile on the face, but then there’s always a pivotal moment and suddenly that completive spirit takes over.”
Team Rugby: Kieran Read (c), Richie McCaw, Israel Dagg, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett, Aaron Smith, Jason Spice, Ali Williams, Kendra Cocksedge, Kaylum Boshier, Ofisa Tunu’u, David Hussey (wildcard). Coach: Sir Graham Henry.
Team Cricket: Stephen Fleming (player coach), Brendon McCullum (c), Grant Elliott, Luke Ronchi, Kyle Mills, Chris Harris, Nathan Astle, James Franklin, Hamish Marshall, Liz Perry, Wildcard (TBA). Manager/motivator: Scott Robertson.